Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Cholecystectomy: The Hospital & First Day

I had surgery earlier today to remove my gallbladder and everything went well. I had decided years ago, after my knee surgery, that I wouldn't have surgery again because the intubation hurt my throat so much. In fact I remember my throat being in worse pain than my knees. Of course, my gallbladder was so troublesome that I decided to, ahem,  reverse my position.

The nurses were nice, as was the anesthesiologist. They seemed happy to answer my never ending questions. Even though they believed that I would probably not remember asking them. (For the record, they were wrong about that. Clearly, I do remember.)

My memory is actually pretty good about my pre-op meetings. They gave me a nice little shot of something to relax me. It was lovely. A wonderful tipsy little feeling. I could have done with a little more of that. :-)

Then I  remember waking up and feeling unable to breathe well. I was not happy about that. A nurse came by and said something and I told her that I couldn't breathe. She told me that I could and I was. Then the told me some machine readouts that I didn't care about. I must admit that I felt indignant that she kept asking me questions and trying to cram ice chips down my throat while I was clearly struggling to breathe. Even though I realized that I was breathing I felt like I couldn't do it well and was trying to concentrate on taking even, deep breaths. I most certainly did not feel like talking to that unsympathetic woman.

Then she started talking to another nurse about discharging me. Part of me felt certain that she was crazy. I couldn't breathe or swallow well, I was weak and dizzy from the drugs, and she wanted me to leave? I wasn't even certain that I agreed that this should be an outpatient procedure. Despite my internal protestations I was handed off to another nurse.
One of the three incisions arcing across my abdomen.

She got me dressed and packed into a wheelchair with blankets around me. I felt very much like my grandpa looked in his later years. Feeble and a bit disoriented. Talking was not easy. People kept telling me things that I was sure I wouldn't remember. When I asked the nurse if she could tell my husband instead of me she, rather disdainfully, told me that of course they were going to do that because I wouldn't remember anything. Guess I showed her. (Feel free to insert a raspberry here if you like.)

Then my husband came up with our two lovely littles and people were once again talking. I was a bit irritated that they still wanted to talk to me because I didn't want to think, much less talk. But finally it was done and I was brought downstairs, packed in my car with my souvenir blankets (score!) and we came home.

After coming home I visited the bathroom and went upstairs to nap. There is just something so wonderful about getting to sleep when you are tired. My daughter kept me up the night before my surgery and apparently being under anesthesia is not the same as sleeping. I was just as tired coming out of surgery as I was going in.

After I got up from my nap I was better rested, but quite sore. I decided to breastfeed my baby. I would have done it before my nap but I remember the nurses talking about the Demerol I was given before I woke up as bad for my baby. Since I didn't have the energy to look it up I decided to just sleep it off a bit. I knew I had enough donor milk to see him through. (Turns out Demerol is safer than the Lortab I was prescribed.)

I won't go into how I was displeased that they had given me something that they felt would be bad to breastfeed while on, since the official line from them is to wait 48 hours after anesthesia to breastfeed. This is false info based on a fear of being sued, I would guess.

I decided not to fill my prescription. The Lortab would probably be safe but I don't want to take the chance. I seem to have a high tolerance for pain, anyway. I've just been taking over-the-counter acetaminophen and have been all right, if not happy. At least the pain lets me know that I have limits.

The rest of the day consisted of me sitting in my chair with my baby who was ecstatic to get his booby back. He wiggled and squirmed and smiled. Then someone brought us a chicken pot pie and made my day. We went for a walk around the block, to avoid pneumonia, and decided to go to bed early.

My belly button.

Apparently this didn't publish last night. I guess I didn't click the button, perhaps?

Here are the other parts to this series:

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